Hitler greeting, Nazi salutes prompt police probe in eastern Germany



Berlin - Police in the eastern German city of Halle have begun at least 10 inquiries after a Monday demonstration in which protesters used Nazi symbols and slogans.
Police say they are also investigating incidents in which some protesters attacked police, spitting on them and scuffling with them.



About 450 marchers joined the protest, part of a series of demonstrations across eastern Germany after recent incidents in the cities of Chemnitz and Koethen in which Germans have died after encounters with immigrants. 
Most of the marches have been protests against the presence of migrants, whose numbers have risen dramatically in Germany since 2015, during the government's open door policy towards people fleeing war zones and other conflict-hit areas.
But there is concern that the anti-migrant movement is becoming a breeding ground for neo-Nazi sentiments. Members of right-wing organizations had urged a strong turnout on Monday.
Police said they are investigating cases where marchers displayed symbols of banned organizations, performed Nazi salutes or called out "Sieg Heil" (Hail Victory), a phrase commonly used by the Nazis.
Authorities said many of those marching appeared drunk.
But they were quick to point out that they could not say if all the people marching in Halle belonged to right-wing groups. They also noted that a counterdemonstration drew in 80 to 100 participants, but that there was no violence reported in relation to their protest.

Tuesday, September 11th 2018
(dpa)
           


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